Makati parish church reviews steep wedding fees after backlash
MANILA, Philippines – The parish church in upscale Forbes Park in Makati has announced that it will review its proposed wedding fees following a backlash.
In a statement on Friday, March 16, Santuario de San Antonio parish priest Father Reu Jose Galoy apologized after the new accreditation fees on wedding suppliers drew strong criticism.
"We again sincerely apologize for the dismay caused by the presentation of proposed new regulations governing weddings at Santuario de San Antonio Parish (SSAP). We would like to reiterate that those regulations are still a work in progress as communicated during the Wedding Congress," he said in an official letter posted on the SSAP website.
"The new regulations were meant to preserve the solemnity of the Sacrament of Marriage. Our objective is to ensure all wedding ceremonies at the parish are simple, prayerful, and highlight the true meaning of the union between a man and a woman in Holy Matrimony," he added.
Galoy said the SSAP realized "that the levying of certain fees on wedding suppliers is not the correct way to achieve the objective."
"In lieu of an accreditation fee, we shall thus institute a strict screening process to ensure that suppliers observe proper decorum during the wedding ceremony,' he said.
"In the coming days, we shall actively engage key stakeholders in the wedding industry for guidance in relation to other regulations we wish to adopt," Galoy said.
He added that said the funds collected are used by the parish not only for maintenance activities but to also support ministries and outreach activities.
The church, which charges P40,000 to P50,000 per wedding, planned to impose accreditation fees and bonds on wedding suppliers. The proposed fees were distributed during a seminar at the parish, which outraged netizen Dominic Velasco snapped and posted on his Facebook page.
According to the proposed rates, wedding coordinators will be charged P50,000 per year, on top of a cash bond of P20,000 per wedding. Annual accreditation fees for florists, musicians, and suppliers offering photo and video packages range from P10,000 to P30,000.
The viral post on the fees was shared over 5,600 times and received more than 800 comments as of posting.
Before the parish announcement that it was waiving the new fees, some suppliers said they would boycott the parish in protest of the proposed fees.
Party Fixers Concept and Events said: "We protest [against] the expensive fees they are proposing to charge the couples who will be wed [in] their church and to the wedding suppliers. We know that church ceremonies do not cost that high and need not to be."
Supplier Relive Those Moments found the rates "unreasonable," and said it will not accept clients who plan to be wed at Santuaria de San Antonio Parish. (READ: 6 ways to plan a destination wedding)
Santuario de San Antonio was built by Franciscans in the Philippines and was established as a parish in 1975.– Rappler.com